A New Face for suspense….Gerry Schmitt - Dark Streets
Although the name of Gerry Schmitt is relatively new to suspense lovers, her alter ego, Laura Childs, is a staple in the world of cozy mysteries. Writing as Laura Childs, she is the NYT bestselling author of more than thirty-eight mysteries which span three series: the immensely popular Tea Shop mysteries, which feature Theodosia Browning; the Scrapbooking Mysteries, set in New Orleans, and the Cackleberry Club, about three friends who run a diner.
In her own words, Gerry’s been writing what she calls “thrillzy’s” for years. She describes her cozy series as a cross between a thriller and a cozy: smart, daring female entrepreneurs, double murders, international jewel thieves, arson, ponzi schemes, car crashes, smash and grab robberies, hangings, drownings, maniacal cult leaders, haunted houses, horse thieves, etc. If it’s crazy, evil, or exciting, Gerry’s got in in one of her books! She does admit, though, that writing thrillers is bit more challenging because they demand a longer format and slightly more intricate plot.
Her new series, published by Penguin/Random is the Afton Tangler thrillers. Afton is a family liason officer with the Minneapolis PD and, as such, it’s her job to deal with the emotional aftermath of terrible crimes. Here’s the book jacket teaser for the first volume, LITTLE GIRL GONE:
In the first Afton Tangler thriller, the unforgiving cold of a Minnesota winter hides the truth behind an even more chilling crime...
On a frozen night in an affluent neighborhood of Minneapolis, a baby is abducted from her home after her teenage babysitter is violently assaulted. The parents are frantic, the police are baffled, and, with the perpetrator already in the wind, the trail is getting colder by the second.
As family liaison officer with the Minneapolis P.D., it’s Afton Tangler’s job to deal with the emotional aftermath of terrible crimes—but she’s never faced a case quite as brutal as this. Each development is more heartbreaking than the last and the only lead is a collection of seemingly unrelated clues.
But, most disturbing of all, Afton begins to suspect that this case is not isolated. Whoever did this has taken babies before—and if Afton doesn’t solve this crime soon, more children are sure to go missing . . .
If that doesn’t sound deliciously creepy, I don’t know what does! Creepy, too, was the inspiration for Gerry’s plot: she saw a “reborn” doll, a doll stripped of factory paint and reworked to look like a real infant,at a doll show! In her own words: ; “I thought to myself, “This is amazingly creepy.” I mean, this doll had hand-inserted hair and eyelashes, a perfect airbrushed paint job, and even a tiny motor to imitate a heartbeat. People who bought these dolls actually signed adoptions papers! From that sort of jumping off point it was easy to build a twisty, off-kilter plot.”
And for those cozy fans who fear that Gerry’s love of suspense will affect her other cozy series, not to worry. CREPE FACTOR, a Scrapbooking Mystery, debuted in October and Gerry/Laura is already writing the next, GLITTER BOMB. EGG DROP DEAD, for Cackleberry Club fans, came out in December and she’s also penning EGGS OVER UNEASY for 2017. And Theo fans, take note: PEKOE MOST POISON comes out this March!
And, of course, the second Afton Tangler thriller will be out this July! Titled Shadow Girl, here’s a preview from the inside flap:
The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree...
Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.
Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.
The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage...
Does Gerry ever tire of her rigorous work schedule? Not on your life. So worry not. Gerry/Laura will be keeping us in thrillers/cozies for many years to come!
Columnist: Toni LoTempio
While Toni Lotempio does not commit - or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and in Spring 2017, the new CAT RESCUE mysteries from Crooked Lane! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com or at www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com